"A Faithful Attempt" is designed to showcase a variety of K-12 art lessons, the work of my art students, as well as other art-related topics. Projects shown are my take on other art teacher's lessons, lessons found in books or else designed by myself.
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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Autumn Leaves Watercolour

This is a lovely Autmnal watercolour lesson that I found HERE on the "Colorful Art Palette" blog. I tweaked it a little by using liquid watercolours for the whole project, whereas she used black wax crayon for the background.

I did this lesson with a mixed class of Grades 4-6. They started off by drawing a leaf (the oak leaf was BY FAR the most popular one!) on a piece of cardstock. They cut this out and this was used as their tracer or template. Some students chose to do more than one leaf.

They traced their leaf onto heavy white paper. We talked about how to visually create a sense of movement on their art, like the leaves were gently blowing in the wind. Once all their leaves were drawn, they outlined everything in Sharpie.

I finally order liquid watercolours this year. I read THIS POST a while back on the amazing Deep Space Sparkle blog and she gave such great ideas on how to use them that I finally bit the bullet. It took a while to track down the sauce/condiment cups with lids (my Costco doesn't stock them) but I finally found a wholesale restaurant supply store that sells them. TIP: take you tempera puck tray with you to the store as there were many sauce cup sizes to choose from and I initially bought a size too big. So I took one tray with me the next time and got a better size. The sauce cups (with lids) are great for storing mixed acrylic paints as well- my high schoolers use them alot to save paint from class to class.

I bought the brand "Handy Art" liquid watercolours. Overall, I'm happy with them, but the black colour is definitely not black- more like a navy blue as you'll see in the finished artwork below. Next time I guess I'll bust out my black India ink for the background step, but it's so stinky (and stains) that I generally don't like using it with my younger students. 

Anyhoo, my students loved the liquid watercolours and request to use them alot now!

It took a couple classes to paint the leaves.

The last step is to paint the background. We went with "black" (not really) but blue or turquoise would also be really pretty.

Some of the early finished ones:

this student gave their background 2 coats of paint to make it more opaque. I prefer this.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Rainbow Colour Wheels

This colour wheel lesson holds a special place in my heart as it was one of the first lessons I ever taught my Junior High students my first year teaching.
I had ordered this book below: "The Art Teacher's Survival Guide" as I saw it in an art catalog and thought it looked good (I think the words "survival guide" was a big selling point for me, haha!) 
This lesson came from it and is called "Personal Rainbow Color Wheel".

I have students first fill out a color wheel worksheet just to reinforce all those colour theory terms.

On a long strip of cardstock, students design some type of shape and cut it out.

Then they trace it onto heavy white paper 12 times and then paint it using either watercolours or acrylics; whichever they prefer. I find most students use watercolours.

Once dry, students carefully cut them out them and placed them in a radial pattern on a large sheet of black paper. You want to make sure it's all nice and balanced before committing to glue.

These all turn out really nice and make a colourful and dramatic display.
Here's some Grade 8 results:

Friday, September 18, 2015

Chalk Pastel Dino Drawings

Here's another project I do for my "Prehistoric Art" unit my Grade 4's study with me. 
It's a very simple, straightforward project that yields great results. You really can't go wrong with chalk pastel on back paper, in my opinion. Transporting them home without smudges, though, is a whole other issue!

I have a ton of dinosaur books that I collect at garage sales over the summer. Students flip through these and decide on a dinosaur to draw. On 12 x 18" black construction paper, students draw out their dinosaur and need to include some type of setting as well. They can make their dinos any colour as we really don't know what colours they were. They pass over all their pencil lines with a black wax crayon, then start colouring with chalk pastels. I encourage them to mix colours and add highlights for extra interest and realism.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Cave Art Paintings

This is a Lascaux Caves inspired art project I do with my Grade 4's during our "Prehistoric Art" unit. 
I start off by showing a Youtube video explaining all about the famous Lascaux caves in France. Then we look at some up close photos of the actual cave paintings. We discuss what types of materials early man might have used to create the paintings (animal fat mixed with pigment,s blood, ash/charcoal. etc). We also talk about why they would have created these paintings and the types of animals that are represented.

For the art project, I pre-cut large squares of simple brown paper from a big roll I have. Students can choose to tear/rip the edges to make it uneven and rough. using tempera pucks, students mix a variety of earth tones and paint over the entire paper to give it a cave wall type effect. 

I give the students a handout of various cave art images for them to create their animal stencil.

On piece of cardstock/tagboard, students draw a simple outline of an animal.

Then they poke a hole in the middle and cut out the interior to create a stencil.

They place the stencil onto their painted background paper and, using charcoal or chalk pastels, rub around the outside of the stencil then use their finger to blend the chalk to the inside. It creates a really cool soft faded effect that also mimics shading a bit.
They can overlap and change colours however they wish.

Grade 4 results:

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